Since Katie and I will be visiting family next week, this is my final work week of the year. So, I can’t help but reflect on the work I’ve done in 2011. When you work in ministry, it can be very difficult to evaluate your work. There aren’t many days in my year where I can say, “Today I did X and in the grand scheme of things, it will really matter.”
A few years ago I read a blog post by Donald Miller that has proven to be very influential as I think about evaluating my work in ministry. He wrote that doing the work God has given each of us to do, is like farming. There are times when things aren’t that exciting. But, the thing that really matters is faithfully farming the land God has given you. You work in the field during every season. You work when you see fruit and when you don’t see fruit. You work when things feel pressing and when they don’t feel pressing. Day in, day out, day after day after day, you work the field. I loved this part of his post…
A farmer farms a field, and if he misses a week of work, everything falls apart. If the seeds aren’t in the ground when the rain comes, the crops don’t grow. Our faith is not about magic, it’s about partnering with God to see remarkable things happen through faithfulness and consistency over a long-period of time. If we buy into the instant-results mindset of our culture (that is depressed and confused itself) we will become very frustrated with God.
Long-period of time.
It’s not always easy to hear but it’s so true. Whether 2011 has been one of those years where you’ve seen lots of fruit or not, I hope you can take a few days off around Christmas, enjoy some time with family, reflect on the work God has given you to do, and come back ready to work in the field in 2012. Happy Holidays!